Chapter 12 : Interlude, Part I (The Present)
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Quinn Thomsen wasn’t an enthusiast of unpleasant situations. He couldn’t stomach gruesome movies, day-old Chinese food or plotting the demise of his friends. And yet here he was, in the center of everything unpleasant, waiting outside of the Leader’s door, twiddling his thumbs in front of the large security guard who had crossed arms and a scowl on his face which could have sent Werewolves whimpering in the opposite direction.
He wasn’t a fan of bad news, giving or receiving, and this time around Quinn knew it was a combination of the two. As Quinn tapped his foot, the weight of his boot echoing off of the stone floor, the guard eyed him warningly, but the message didn’t quite come across. When the bolts of the heavy crimson door shifted behind his back, the large guard nearly sighed with relief (relief to be rid of such an annoying Brother).
“Thomsen,” the guard grumbled, his voice as stony as his face. He pushed the door open. “In. Now.”
Quinn lithely leapt to his feet, his broad, boyish grin illuminating his face.
“Thank you, Vladimir,” he said, sashaying past him into the inky black room. “Always a pleasure.”
The guard rolled his eyes and closed the heavy door.
Though Quinn had been inside of the Brethren Leader’s office hundreds of times, he had never actually been alone with him. There had always been exotic dancers to squeeze past, Brothers to chat with, and Trackers to avoid. There had always been poisonous shadow to disappear in if you didn’t want to be noticed. There had always been something.
Now there was silence instead of a constant beat of bass and electronic synthesizer. Quinn could hear his footsteps, and soon the shadows swallowed him up completely. His eyes adjusted quickly and the hall quickly disappeared behind him. Entering the large, round room, Quinn saw the familiar figure of the Leader lounging upon his tall, fat armchair. The candle in the center of the room flickered slightly as Quinn moved past it and slipped upon a smaller chair opposite the Leader.
“Quinn,” the Leader said, his voice a noxious hiss. “You know why you’re here.”
Quinn nodded his head, searching for the Leader’s face in the dark. He could never find it. He had tried before.
“Malfoy’s escaped,” Quinn sighed, crossing his leg and easing his arms behind his head.
The Leader chuckled darkly.
“Yes, and what exactly are we to do about this problem?” he asked, shifting in his grand chair.
“Well,” Quinn began, clapping his hands together and straightening up in his chair. “I propose that you allow me to go after him, track him down on my own.”
“Impossible,” the Leader hissed. “You trained Malfoy very well, Quinn. I know that you two became close over the past couple of years. But, as you know, he’s more powerful than we could have ever imagined. His mind is far sharper than I gave him credit for. We need the Trackers to find him.”
“But, let’s see if I can bring him back first,” Quinn urged, balling his hands into fists. He was beginning to get nervous for his friend. “The Trackers won’t bring him back alive, you know this. Give me one week, and I guarantee that I’ll bring him back breathing.”
“Who says I want him back alive?” the Leader said, pounding his fists on the arms of his chair. “I want that little bastard dead in more ways than one!”
Quinn forced a persuasive smile.
“But, sir,” he said soothingly. “Do you really want his throat torn out by the Trackers, or would you rather see his blood spill due to your…Experienced hands?”
The Leader said nothing. He was weighing his options.
“I do enjoy spilling blood,” The Leader said softly.
Nodding, Quinn felt a thrill of victory in his chest. Panic still remained, but he knew that he could wheedle his way into anything. He was, of course, a charming young man.
“Disappoint me, Thomsen, and you’ll be next on my list,” the Leader said sharply. “Fail to bring Malfoy back in a week and the Trackers will be after you as well.”
“I won’t disappoint you, sir,” Quinn said half-heartedly. The conversation was over and Quinn quickly departed. He left the Leader in the shadows, and he left the club which was their meeting place. Slipping through the bright alleyway, Quinn stepped out into the busy Muggle streets. Finding a pack of cigarettes in the back pocket of his jeans, he pulled out a thin white one. He pulled out another and placed it behind his ear, the absence of his long hair disconcerting after having just cut it.
Sighing heavily, Quinn watched several Muggles dressed in jean shorts and tank tops beneath the blazing summer sun. He scratched his chest, the white cotton of his shirt sticking to his skin uncomfortably. Wedging a cigarette between his lips, Quinn snapped his fingers in front of the tip, and it lighted. A pack of young women all dressed in small outfits, passed him, eyeing him curiously. There was a familiar glint in their young eyes. It was interest in his pierced ears, tattooed forearm and tattered jeans, and he knew that look all too well. He nodded at them and smiled broadly as their laughter floated behind them as they walked away, whispering things.
Mulling a thick puff of smoke around his tongue, Quinn exhaled a nicotine laced breath. He Apparated away, leaving behind nothing but a ribbon of smoke in his wake.
Hours later, the Leader stood from his chair, wading through the darkness of his room. Silence never disturbed him, but he very much preferred tortured screams, blood-thirsty cries or the rapid pulse of music. It was too quiet, and he quickly searched the back wall of the Crimson room. His hands blindly searched the grooves and dips of the wall’s molding for a certain latch. After a moment, he found it. Pulling on the handle roughly, there was a clinking noise, and then one panel of the wall slid open, revealing a scarlet light and a set of stairs. He stepped inside, the red light illuminating his face. His dark eyes were filled with hate and an idea. The Leader descended the stairs, going deeper and deeper into his hidden labyrinth.
At the bottom of the stairs, there was a door. Behind the door, the Leader was pleased to hear the muffled screams of his most beloved inventions. Placing a hand upon the punctured steel door, the thick metal pushed aside, and the shrieking intensified.
He stepped inside.
Cages lined the walls, and some of the metal bars were distorted and bent. The screeching subsided as the Leader’s footsteps thunked against the steel floors, the things behind the bars cowering in his shadow.
“My pets,” the Leader purred, eyeing the shivering beasts. He stepped closer to one cage, a satisfied smile on his masked face when a throaty growl reached his ears. “I bet you’re all just dying of thirst.”
Something which resembled cheering rattled the cages, shivering down the line, one by one, another beast’s snarl adding to the chorus.
“If you find Scorpius Malfoy, his blood is yours,” he said, pacing towards the other end of the cages. “If you kill who ever he is with, that blood is a bonus.”
More throaty barking.
“Bring his head back as a trophy and you’ll never be hungry again,” the Leader roared, spinning around the center of the room as the swell of noise grew and grew. “I give you permission to fly and to track him down. Disappointment isn’t an option, boys. Don’t fail me.”
Raising his hands above his head, the Leader brought them down, causing the steel doors to swing open and a small door at the head of the room to unbolt and rise upward. Black as night, the dark wolf-like beasts crawled forward from their kennels. Their eyes glowed a glittering green in the weak light, and the dozens of eyes focused on the Leader who stood above them.
“Cheers,” he whispered to them, pointing a hand towards the black door at the back of the room. The Trackers cackled and howled, slinking out the door and into the outside world. The Leader could hear the beat of wings above the piercing cries, and he knew that they were off, searching for the man who ultimately ruined everything.
A/N: Hello, hello! A short little interlude. Very short. You all know that I’m a fan of writing giant mammoth chapters, but stretching this one out seems pointless to me. Ah, well. Did you like it? Are you confused? That’s my main worry. I don’t want anybody to abandon me based off of confusion! Oh, noes! Please don’t! Does anyone have any theories or comments? Was it scary or dramatic or anything pertaining to that? Or was it ridiculous? I hope it isn’t the latter. You’ll get SOOOOO much more information in the next chapter, like what the hell has Scorpius gotten himself into. Trouble, that’s what. I was considering doing the Interlude AFTER the next chapter, but this, I believe, ties nicely into it, and I thought it worked better before. You’ll all see soon.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you for reading or reviewing or both. Brilliant. Bloody brilliant. I’m hoping you’re still enjoying it as much as I am. Let me know that you’re alive and that you love me, love to hate me, or hate to love me.
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